Inside the Menlo Charity Horse Show

Credit: Alden Corrigan for Equestrian Life
Credit: Alden Corrigan for Equestrian Life

The Menlo Charity Horse Show celebrated its 43rd year – its most successful year to date – at the elegant Menlo Circus Club in Atherton.

Benefitting Vista Center for the Blind and Visually Impaired, the Menlo Horse Show is one of the finest professional/amateur equestrian events in the United States.  It began in 1970 as a one-day horse show, and has evolved into an impressive six days of non-stop competition from sunrise to sunset in three arenas including a weekend of not-to-be missed social events.

Credit: Alden Corrigan for Equestrian Life
Credit: Alden Corrigan for Equestrian Life

This year brought sponsorship from 108 luxury brands, including Bentley San Francisco and Bentley Los GatosStephen Silver Fine Jewelry, Rosewood Hotels and Resorts, Ariat, Katharine PageEmily Joubert, Tiffany & Co. and Hermes among many more.

There were many highlights from the show, beginning on Friday evening with the Oliver Luxury Real Estate Ryman Memorial Speed Jumping Class competition. Guests under the sponsor tent enjoyed fine wine from Beltramo’s and Jazz Cellars and delicious appetizers from Chef John Le at Three Seasons Restaurant in Palo Alto while watching Kristin Medall Simpson-Ferguson Hardin win the $10,000 prize. Guests proceeded to the Dinner and Auction Gala sponsored by Stephen Silver Fine Jewelry. The evening ended sweetly with macarons a la Parisienne by Chantal Guillon in Palo Alto and over $200,000 raised at the auction for Vista Center.

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Michael Heywood: Regional Marketing Manager for Bentley, Catherine Harvey, Olympian Peter Breakwell, Susan Martin and Menlo Charity Horse Show founder Betsy Glikbarg Credit: Tom Jung for San Mateo Daily Journal

On Saturday evening, Four Seasons Hotel Silicon Valley and Bentley put on the classiest of tailgate parties. Elegantly dressed guests dined on Chef Marco Fossati’s selections of caviar and prosecco soaked strawberry canapes. Models wearing Palo Alto designer Camilla Olsen’s “cage” dresses served guests champagne from the “tails” of Bentley’s new Flying Spur, debuting that evening and GTC Convertible. The main event was a spectacle in its own right as guests enjoyed the fierce Olympic caliber Bentley Los Gatos & Bentley San Francisco Grand Prix. Guy Thomas, former Olympian in the 2004 Athens games won his second Grand Prix in a row at Menlo on Peterbilt, with the $40,000 stake.

Last year’s show raised $450,000 for Vista Center for the Blind and Visually Impaired and this year is projected to exceed that precedent.

Photo Credit: Judy Soden

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